Joe Scarborough's transformation from a firebreathing member of Newt Gingrich's 1994 freshman class to a frequent antagonist of some current day conservatives on MSNBC has been well documented. Certainly, Scarborough's frequent criticisms of the modern day Republican Party have endeared and infuriated his viewers in similar measure.
And today on "Meet the Press," Scarborough made some observations that are sure to inspire a similar reaction. Speaking on the subject of gun control and the ongoing debate regarding the subject, Scarborough dismissed the party's continued control of the House of Representatives as the product of "gerrymandering," and suggested that conservatives needed a figure like former National Review founder William F. Buckley to carry out a purge of the movement's least desirable elements.
"Republicans have to speak to the middle class concerns, and it's not just about the debt, even though that's the issue that personally matters the most to me. This party has been getting smaller and smaller and smaller. William F. Buckley in the 1960's at some point had to start defining the boundaries of conservatism, and so what did he do? He went after the John Birch Society. He went after Ayn Rand. He went after George Wallace. That has to happen again with this party, because it's getting smaller and smaller and smaller," Scarborough began.
"In this debate," he continued, "we actually have conservative thinkers talking about Ronald Reagan being a RINO, a Republican-in-name-only, because he supported an assault weapons ban. They keep pushing themselves closer and closer to the cliff. And I just got to say one other really important point, 'cause I've made a mistake over the past month, talking about how Republicans have also won a majority in the House. As this article I was referencing mentioned, we actually got a minority of votes nationwide in House races. It was just gerrymandering from 2010 that gave us the majority."
Watch Scarborough's remarks below, courtesy of Mediaite:
Scarborough is correct about Republicans winning a minority of nationwide votes. However, his usage of the phrase "gerrymandering," which implies something untoward in dividing districts a certain way, is sure to raise some hackles.